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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 432 pages of information about Japhet, in Search of a Father.
thing—­there’s a profession—­I can travel and earn my livelihood.’  I entered into conversation with him, as he stopped at a low public-house, treating him to a pot of beer; and having gained all I wanted as to the mysteries of the profession, I called for another pot, and proposed that I should purchase his whole concern, down to his knife and apron.  The fellow agreed, and after a good deal of bargaining, I paid him three guineas for the set out or set up, which you please.  He asked me whether I meant to hawk in London or not, and I told him no, that I should travel the country.  He advised the western road, as there were more populous towns in it.  Well, we had another pot to clench the bargain, and I paid down the money and took possession, quite delighted with my new occupation.  Away I went to Brentford, selling a bit here and there by the way, and at last arrived at the very bench where we had sat down together and eaten our meal.”

“It is strange that I did the same, and a very unlucky bench it proved to me.”

“So it did to me, as you shall hear.  I had taken up my quarters at that inn, and for three days had done very well in Brentford.  On the third evening I had just come back, it was nearly dusk, and I took my seat on the bench, thinking of you.  My dog, rather tired, was lying down before the cart, when all of a sudden I heard a sharp whistle.  The dog sprang on his legs immediately, and ran off several yards before I could prevent him.  The whistle was repeated, and away went the dog and cart like lightning.  I ran as fast as I could, but could not overtake him; and I perceived that his old master was running ahead of the dog as hard as he could, and this was the reason why the dog was off.  Still I should, I think, have overtaken him, but an old woman coming out of a door with a saucepan to pour the hot water into the gutter, I knocked her down and tumbled right over her into a cellar without steps.  There I was, and before I could climb out again, man, dog, cart, cat’s meat and dog’s meat, had all vanished, and I have never seen them since.  The rascal got clear off, and I was a bankrupt.  So much for my first set up in business.”

“You forgot to purchase the good-will when you made your bargain, Timothy, for the stock in trade.”

“Very true, Japhet.  However, after receiving a very fair share of abuse from the old woman, and a plaister of hot greens in my face—­for she went supperless to bed, rather than not have her revenge—­I walked back to the inn, and sat down in the tap.  The two men next to me were hawkers; one carried a large pack of dimities and calicoes, and the other a box full of combs, needles, tapes, scissors, knives, and mock-gold trinkets.  I entered into conversation with them, and, as I again stood treat, I soon was very intimate.  They told me what their profits were, and how they contrived to get on, and I thought, for a rambling life, it was by no means an unpleasant one; so having obtained

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